On TINA and Desire was Re: Mutiny in Mukhrovani

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Fri May 25 15:34:53 MDT 2001

>Some officials saw sinister motives. "We are dealing with military
>adventurism...They have shown armed resistance,"State Security Minister
>Vakhtang Kutateladze said on independent Rustavi-2 television. "We are
>dealing with an attempted coup."
>But the wife of one of the soldiers rejected such talk. "This is not
>politics, politics is excluded," Russian television showed her shouting
>excitedly at journalists.
>"They have no shoes, they have no food, they have nothing."

Barry's report of this mutiny is very interesting.  It brought to mind
Phil's account of the university demonstration where the student leader got
up to demand not free education but for things to stay as they were.

Yet discontent is piling up everywhere. Fuelling is it is a oh so slowly
developing realization that the cynicism and decadence of the rich and the
powerful is truly monstrous.  For instance who else but a degenerate ruling
class would have foisted the weasel George Bush on the American people?

This week I was especially surprised by a series of spontaneous remarks
from my students about how Bush was an "idiot" who was going to plunge us
all into a war with China. You  know I taught for a whole decade, the 80s,
without hardly one student ever making a critical political remark.

This week's outbursts were unprompted by me and accurately reflect, I
think, a loss of prestige by the American ruling class.  Bush may be riding
high in opinion polls in the States, but around the world his name is dirt.

My only role in this discussion was to point out to the students that they
must understand that underneath Bush's total ignorance there *is* a rat
cunning mind at work. He and his have been rich and powerful for many years.

So the elites are losing prestige.  To that extent their hegemony is
weakening. But they have retained their power because as Phil pointed out
TINA rules.  This is clearly instanced by the events in Georgia and in New
Zealand.  What the stories of the mutineers and the student leader
underline is that parallelling the discontent is the truth that we are
dealing with a collapse of desire.

Neither students nor soldiers can see their way to a better world.  They
cannot even name it. "It" is of course socialism.

I always quote William Morris here when he said "We have to teach desire to
desire, to desire better, to desire more, and above all to desire in a
different way".  That is I suppose the role of the political party or movement


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